Maintaining your vehicle is an incredibly rewarding task and learning how to replace your spark plugs is a great place to start. There’s a decent chance you will be required to replace your set of spark plugs several times over the course of owning a 2002 Nissan Maxima. Spark plugs are one of the most vital parts inside your engine as they begin the entire combustion process that starts and keeps your engine running for many thousands of miles. Similar to most engine components, spark plugs experience wear over time and eventually need replacement, but fortunately this is a repair you can do on your own. Chances are, if you’ve found yourself here, you have no idea how to do that, or potentially you’d just like to know what kind of spark plugs you need to buy. The entire process of changing your spark plugs should take about 20-45 minutes. This article will go over everything you should need to know about your Nissan Maxima’s spark plugs, whether you need some general information or a full, step-by-step guide to performing a spark plug change.
Correct spark plugs on a 2002 Nissan Maxima
AUTOLITE APP5325[/caption]For any 2002 Nissan Maxima, you can use AUTOLITE APP5325 spark plugs. These will be an exact fit and will match the required specifications of your engine. As this 2002 Nissan Maxima features a 6 cylinder engine, ensure you purchase 6 spark plugs. We always try to recommend the best possible spark plugs for the money, and these spark plugs are either a factory recomendation or an equivalent replacement available in today’s market at an affordable price.
How often should I change my spark plugs?
In general, it is advised that you replace spark plugs once every 20,000 to 40,000 miles. Of course, please make sure to check your owner’s manual to determine the specific interval determined by Nissan for the 2002 Maxima. Of course, if you drive your vehicle more aggressively or own a Maxima with some modifications, you may want to consider changing your spark plugs closer to the 20,000 miles end of that spectrum.
However, there are also classic signs of a car that may potentially need a spark plug replacement earlier than the recommended schedule, such as:
- Problems starting your engine
- Rough idle
- Engine misfiring
As a quick note, keep in mind that this list is of course not comprehensive, and these problems on their own do not definitively point to the spark plugs being the solitary culprit. However, the best way to prevent any issues with your vehicle is to take care of it with routine maintenance, and you are definitely doing so with the responsible decision to replace your Nissan Maxima’s spark plugs on a regular basis.
Changing spark plugs on a 2002 Nissan Maxima
This is a process you can do on your own with some standard garage tools. Of course, consult your owner’s manual, as well as a factory service manual or an equivalent Haynes or Chiltons manual. The video shown below does a good job of outlining the process.
As noted before, you should be able to do a spark plug change with some regular tools you likely already have. However, there are a few tools that are specific to this job that you may not have, and we also want to recommend some commonplace tools that you should for sure have in your toolbox if you don’t already.
- A spark plug gap tool. This allows you to check the gap of your spark plugs and change it if necessary. Most plugs will come pregapped, but if this is not the case, you should absolutely have one of these.
- I also highly recommend you have a feeler gauge as it makes it a bit more straightforward to check the exact gap, and it is helpful for quite a few other jobs.
- A set of spark plug sockets – These come in extremely handy because many standard sockets are not deep enough for spark plugs. Additionally, some spark plug holes are a bit smaller, so it requires a thinner wall like the one featured in the product here to fit. The linked product also features a magnet to keep a good hold of the spark plug so you do not drop it into your engine bay!
- A spark plug tester – this is definitely a niche tool, but it can save you a ton of time. Although we’ve discussed spark plug replacement being a good thing to replace regularly and not just when issues occur, you may also be replacing your spark plugs because of something going wrong. This tool can help you diagnose the exact problem.
- A torque wrench is a vital tool to have in your collection. You will want to check your FSM (factory service manual) to determine the correct torque rating to use when installing the new spark plugs for your 2002 Nissan Maxima to be confident they are installed properly.
Tips for changing spark plugs on your 2002 Nissan Maxima
Ensure you review the video above before you attempt to repair the spark plugs on your 2002 Nissan Maxima, as well as review your factory service manual. Be sure to check the tips shown here to help you as you do this repair.
- You should replace spark plugs on a cold engine. Wait at least 30 minutes after your engine has been running before attempting to replace the spark plugs on your 2002 Nissan Maxima
- The most important thing is to avoid overtightening the plugs or worse, cracking them due to overtightenting. Use a torque wrench capable of lower, more precise torque ratings to be sure that you don’t make this mistake.
- It’s not a bad idea to use dielectric grease when installing new spark plugs. You can apply a a tiny amount to the inside of the boot and the ceramic part of your spark plugs. It prevents voltage leak and helps avoid the misfortune of the boot fusing to the spark plug over time.
- This is not official advice as many spark plug manufacturers advise against the use of anti-seize. However, I have heard from numerous old-school mechanics that they always apply a small amount of anti-seize to the threads of their spark plugs, especially on older vehicles.
- Before starting, disconnect the negative terminal of your battery. You should always disconnect the battery anytime you work on the electrical system of your Nissan Maxima or any other vehicle.